INDIA, Jaipur, Rajasthan: It has been over a year since the world has been in shambles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While hopes of the people are languishing and fears are overpowering, a few good samaritans of Jaipur, Dr. Aslam Nagra, a Senior Consultant Radiologist with Emkay Diagnostics, and Mr. Abhineet Boochra, Co-founder and Director of Sangeeta Boochra, are actively fighting to curb the COVID-19 catastrophe. Started in April 2020, a few weeks into the lockdown, the Helping Hand Initiative is keeping our faiths in humanity alive by contributing to the fight against the pandemic.
The Helping Hand
Through the Helping Hand initiative, Jewelery Brand Sangeeta Boochra and Emkay Diagnostics made the initial contribution. To help rescue people from the Coronavirus pandemic, it also seeked help from external stakeholders through donations of oxygen concentrators, food, hospital beds, etc.
The core committee of the initiative, along with these two front runners has many other known names from the real estate, jewelery sector, corporate, advocates, and architects. The team having expertise and thriving careers in diverse areas within the spectrum, have come in unison to help us defeat the war against the unseen enemy.
How it all started?
The duo started the initiative for patients unable to seek admission into a hospital or COVID care facility due to non-availability of beds or shortage of oxygen supply. They started with two beds and two oxygen concentrators within the premises of Emkay Diagnostic Centre. They gradually increased the numbers going ahead. More so, thanks to Dr. Vijay Kapoor, the Secretary of the Private Hospital Nursing Home Society (PHNHS), the bedding service was made manageable and successful by liaising and cooperating with 450 hospitals for helping those with limited financial means. As of 7 May 2021, the initiative has added two facilities comprising 25 beds. With time, they realised that they could do much more than provide bedding.
What do they do now?
The Helping Hand, as of today, has extended their hands and forayed into providing other services such as assisting in the vaccination procedure, offering COVID information, free food for COVID patients and frontline workers, free temporary oxygen to COVID patients, organising RT-PCR tests at home, Medicine delivery, organising HRCT, and COVID Blood Tests, Verified information for oxygen refilling centers, ambulance services, the procedure to procure Remdesivir, Home Sanitisation, and funeral process and support. To streamline the bedding services and kick start the administration for medical supplies, the Raj Khurana hospital was onboarded, in addition to the previously onboarded Emkay Diagnostics Centre, to fulfill the extended endeavour of the helping hand initiative. Below are the details under each of the services.
The senior citizens living alone and unable to understand how to go about filling applications and appointments are vulnerable and most at risk. So this is a service dedicated to them. The assistance also extends to rendering post-vaccination transportation. The motto for the extensive care is that the elderly were once the helping hand and building blocks of the society that we inherit today, and this is their way of returning the favour. To further streamline testing and minimise hassles, they offer COVID testing at home.
Verified COVID information
With the voluminous information that gets shared on social networks, including open platforms such as Facebook and Instagram and close-knit platforms such as WhatsApp, today, the crux and contexts of reality often get distorted and lost in translation. The initiative helps curb panic and anxieties by providing information from legitimate and verified sources. They urge that the public not fall prey to fake information shared on their groups, helping in this endeavour of educating you with the right and relevant information.
Verified information of Plasma
The initiative also encourages people to come forward and help with blood and plasma donations. To streamline this aspect, Helping Hand maintains a record of eligible donors. More so, the initiative has put in place a 24-hour call center that responds to hospital requirements by offering confirmations of verified donors and making arrangements for the donations. The information is reliable, up-to-date, and streamlined through multiple channels. In addition to providing verified information regarding blood and plasma, they conduct blood and HRCT tests.
Free doctor consultation
The Helping Hand Initiative offers free consultations through experienced doctors and volunteers for the needy and those with limited financial means. The service is available 24×7 for all COVID emergencies.
Sourcing and delivery of essentials
As part of the Helping Hand Initiative, they also offer free food and medicine delivery services. In addition to this, the group also provides ICU ventilators for critical COVID patients. Additionally, the initiative also helps the frontline workers by providing free food to police and guards stationed at checkpoints and circles.
What lies ahead
Now that they cater to various demographics across age groups and financial means, the Helping Hand Initiative will be starting an exclusive helpline manned by doctors. The sub-service would help curb the communication delays as the patients would reach doctors directly. It will be a platform for all who want to come forward and help the community. We will be joining hands with other NGOs and Communities in various cities across India to simplify the information and help people selflessly in need.